Youth transitions, welfare policy and contemporary Europe

Steve Roberts, Lorenza Antonucci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter emphasises the role welfare policy (or social policy) has upon young people’s lives and their transition to adulthood. We discusses the role that social policies play in the protracted transitions to adulthood of young people, stressing how structural factors determine a non-homogenous experience of transitions among young people. The chapter then illustrates how structural differences can be explained by variations across welfare regimes, and proposes welfare mixes as an alternative framework to understand how young people manage social risks in contemporary societies. Finally, the chapter discusses the implications of current labour market policies on young people, arguing that welfare state interventions are reinforcing the individualisation trend. Providing examples of how policy influences transitions, we argue that it is essential for youth sociologists to explore welfare sources as structures around young people. Moving beyond welfare regime-type analysis towards a focus on welfare mixes will, we contend, enable the development of a fuller appreciation of the processes that generate inequalities in youth transitions.
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationHandbuch Kindheits- und Jugendsoziologie
EditorsAndreas Lange, Christine Steiner, Sabine Schutter, Herwig Reiter
Place of PublicationWiesbaden Germany
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783658056766
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2016

Publication series

NameSpringer NachschlageWissen


  • Young people
  • Europe
  • Welfare mix
  • Transitions
  • Policy
  • Inequality

Cite this

Roberts, S., & Antonucci, L. (2016). Youth transitions, welfare policy and contemporary Europe. In A. Lange, C. Steiner, S. Schutter, & H. Reiter (Eds.), Handbuch Kindheits- und Jugendsoziologie (pp. 1-13). (Springer NachschlageWissen). Springer.